Monday, June 22, 2009

Get'cha Goat on with Friday night pizza at the Mountain Goat Brewery

It's a Friday night- and for me that means good company, good food and hopefully a bevy or two to kick off the weekend. 

That's where Mountain Goat Brewery comes in handy; with it's speak-easy location in the back streets of Melbourne's 'shades of industrial' Richmond, its mystery door with hardly a sign or a symbol, -aside from the slightly satanic looking goat's head on the roller door- and a relaxed attitude that says 'bring on the weekend'. This is not really the sort of place you happen to stumble upon when you're out bar hopping, so you better get the address before you go, and then keep an eye out for the bouncers by a non-descript side door...
Once you're inside it's a cross between a factory floor (which it is), a high-school basketball court (which it isn't) and a share house (thanks to the mismatched chairs and couches).
The great thing about Mountain Goat is its simplicity. There's just no beating about the bush, you come here for beer and a warehouse environment. The menu is small, with only 7 or so pizza options (S/L), but more than half of that is vego friendly and considering the tiny operation that puts the pizza's together, they arrive at your table (or bar stool) with surprising speed. I'm amazed by this, because for all the pizza orders being yelled across the bar, there's only two guys working on a tiny roll through oven, throwing ingredients onto pre-made bases as they go. It's cute, quaint and very down to earth. There ain't no cutlery here- it's finger food or nothing my friend, and that pizza and beer is a damn fine combination. 
The red and white wine offerings are few and only available by the glass ($7), but when your in a brewery, it'd be rude not to try their beer right? 
Mountain Goat has their 4 usual beer suspects on offer from pale ale to stout, as well as some one off batches and experiments available on the night for fun and variety. If you're not sure, your best bet is to order a $10 goat paddle with a selection of tasters on it and work out which one you'd like to continue the night with.
But the best thing about ordering a beer here, is looking across the crowded floor to the actual workings of the brewery itself. On full display are the huge silver tanks and vats, as well as cool rooms that are the makings of the beer in your hand- and it's nice to know that what you're holding, really was brewed 'just over there'. It gives 'the local' a whole new meaning. Occasionally the work-floor just continues to tick over and you can watch the Goat guys go about their business on the floodlit floor.      
Being in an actual factory, it can be quite noisy near the bar- but it's a big space and if you manage to grab a group of armchairs in a corner, with a little table full of tea lights near one of the big gas heaters, you'll be set for the evening and the noise of people unwinding on a Friday just becomes great atmosphere. 
So go on, grab your mates after work... and get your goat on!

Address: Corner North & Clark Streets, Richmond VIC
Phone: 03 9428 1180
Open: Friday only from 5pm till late
Note: Wed night sees the brewery open for tours, tastings & talks with the Goat guys.

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